Pippen Ain't Easy Pregame Report: Bulls vs. Pistons

DETROIT, MI – Chicago Bulls (7-2) at Detroit Pistons (2-6)

Location: The Palace of Auburn Hill, Detroit, MI

Time: 7:00pm CST/8:00 EST

TV: Comcast SportsNet Chicago

Radio: ESPN 1000

Announcers: Neil Funk, Stacey King

Line: Bulls by 13.5

Injury Report/Inactives: CHICAGO — PG C.J. Watson (Elbow, Game Time Decision), SG Ricard Hamilton (Hamstring, Day-to-Day)

DETROIT — SF Tayshaun Prince (Day-to-Day), PF Charlie Villanueva (Day-to-Day), SG Ben Gordon (Day-to-Day)

Key Matchup: Derrick Rose vs. Pistons Defense

Last Game: Bulls lost to Hawks 109-94, Pistons lost to Knicks 103-80

Last Meeting: January 4, 2012 – Bulls 99, Pistons 83

Series History (Since 2002-03): Bulls lead series 20-16  **Pistons on 12 game losing streak to Bulls**

Last Minute Preview: This time around the feeling heading into the game is different but the results will be the same. Last time these two teams met it was after the Bulls pulled out a narrow victory against the Hawks. This time around the Bulls are coming in after getting blasted by the Hawks, getting handed their second loss of the season.

But for those down on the Bulls, tonight won’t be a Bulls third.

Derrick Rose is the storyline heading into this matchup due to the questions about his elbow. He injured it falling hard against the Pistons nearly a week ago and has been nursing it in the two games since. Rose is also coming off a season low 8 points against the Hawks and was a real non-factor in the game. He will need to rebound tonight in the scoring game to shake off the woes.

Carlos Boozer is another guy to watch just because he’s wildly inconsistent. He led the starters in scoring on Saturday but it was with just over ten points. This comes after back-to-back quality performances. Boozer needs to step up the most tonight simply because he’s not Derrick Rose and doesn’t have his slack. Boozer used up all his twine last year and there is no more leeway for him to pump out mediocre and sluggish performances.

One thing the Bulls must do is start quicker. We saw them start slow last year in games and eventually come back. Saturday they started slow and never came close to coming back. The Pistons aren’t a terrible team and you have to believe that the 12 game skid against the Bulls they’re on is weighing on them. They want to change that and they see a wounded Bulls team limping back to Chicago.

The question is are the Bulls putting it on for appearances sake or are they truly about to go into a slump?

Prediction:  Bulls 95, Pistons 83

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